There is something satisfying about Christmas wood carving. You take an ordinary piece of wood and turn it into something that people can enjoy for years to come. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a gift for someone else or doing it for yourself, the feeling is the same.
Here are some Christmas wood carving ideas to try in the next festive season.
12 Christmas Wood Carving Ideas to Try
1. Santa Claus on a tree stump
Santa Claus is one of the most common wood carving ideas you find during Christmas time. Whether it is carved onto a tree stump or just a small wooden Santa, it will surely make your Christmas merrier.
2. Bring the snowmen indoors
If you have a Christmas tree at home, why not carve a snowman on it? It will be a great conversation starter when you invite your friends over for the holiday season.
3. Rethink the Christmas tree
You can also put up an old fir tree and carve it into something else. Simply cut off the top branches so that they are all even and try to create more branches further up the trunk to make it look like a fir tree.
4. Carve a keepsake gift box
Gift boxes dominate the festive season. Use your wood carving skills to create keepsake gift boxes for your friends and family members. You can create personalized gifts for them by carving their names onto the surface of the box, or carving a message or short story about them.
5. Christmas-themed wooden animal figurines
If you prefer a more sophisticated project, you can carve wooden animals like deer, reindeer, or birds to use as decorative pieces for your home and Christmas tree. You can also give it as a gift to your family and friends after painting them with vibrant colors or by adding lights to them.
6. Decorate your Christmas tree with wooden stars, the moon, Santa’s cap
Make your X-mas tree stand out from the rest by decorating it with wooden Stars, the moon and Santa’s cap, etc. After making these wooden items you can paint them with golden or silver color so that they look elegant on your Christmas tree.
7. Wooden carving of Santa’s chariot
There’s no Christmas without Santa’s chariot. And this project is simple–you just need to carve a fancy chariot from wood then paint it with vibrant colours and add some tiny bells on it to make it look more beautiful.
8. Carve wooden cutlery
Christmas is a time to dine and wine. Why not carve wooden cutlery such as spoons, forks, and knives that serve as functional and decorative pieces. These carvings add beauty and elegance to any room which is why they make great gifts for both men and women.
9. Work a wooden antler (reindeer horn)
There are hundreds of different patterns for the reindeer horn (antler) that you can find online or in books, so you’re sure to find one that fits your style. Even if you are on the beginner side of wood carving, there are plenty of simple patterns available to get you started on this wonderful holiday project.
10. Handmade wooden ornaments
One of the great things about making custom wooden ornaments is that you can make them any way you want– and that means you will be able to fit them into any budget.
You can also use just about any design that you want so that they will look unique and special. The best thing about making your own wooden ornaments is that they are very easy to make.
11. Carve a nativity scene
Create your own nativity scene with wooden figures that you carve and paint yourself! This project is simple enough for kids, but adults will enjoy making their own as well.
You could opt for traditional figurines or create a more abstract design, with the manger taking the center stage. Either way, this is a tradition you could carry on for years to come.
12. Carve the three wise men
A carved set of the three wise men makes for an eye-catching centerpiece or window sill ornament that will make your home shine this Christmas. The three wise men can be hidden away once Christmas has been and gone until next year, or given pride of place all year round – it’s up to you!
Christmas Wood Carving Tips
1. Gather the tools
The complexity of your project determines what tools you’ll need. For simple carvings, you will need a hammer, chisel, carving knives and sandpaper. You may also need some electric wood carving tools for more complex carvings. Lastly, stock some paint, glue and varnish for finishing purposes. Always keep these things in the same spot so that you can find them easily.
2. Choose the right wood
It’s also important is to choose the right wood for your project. Some kinds of woods are better for carving than others, so be sure to do some research before buying any wood.
3. Draw your design on tracing paper and then transfer it
One of my favorite tips is to draw your design on tracing paper and then transfer it on the wood by using carbon paper. This way you won’t have any mistakes while carving because you have an accurate sketch to guide you.
4. Carve in direction of the grain
Always remember to carve in direction of the grain and not against it! You will get much better results if you carve with the grain rather than against it because it’s easier and faster, but most importantly the wood won’t break into pieces or splinter off! So, always remember to look at the direction of the wood fibers.
For beginners, it’s best to start with a simple design. It is also easier to work with a larger piece of wood. This allows you to focus on learning the basic techniques and cuts used in woodcarving.
While working on your carving, it’s always a good idea to keep a carving knife sharpener nearby. As you carve, your blade will get dull very quickly. If you don’t keep it sharp, you could end up ruining the whole thing.